Tauranga iwi's 'win' as tank farm plans abandoned

updated By Will Trafford

Ngāi Te Rangi hapū Ngāti Kuku and Ngāi Tukairangi are celebrating scuppered plans to build a jet fuel tank farm opposite the 150-year-old Whareroa Marae.

French-owned company Timaru Oil Services had planned to build four 20 metre high tanks to store jet and diesel fuel at 216 Totara St near Mount Maunganui (Mauao).

A resource consent application for the project was rejected earlier this year due to "cultural and visual effects" but the company was appealing the decision.

Whareroa Marae environment spokesman Joel Ngātuere tells NZME that appeal has been withdrawn, calling it a "win" for the marae but cautioned the future of the site hangs in the balance.

"We will enjoy it but we are also mindful of what's next," Ngātuere said.

The Port of Tauranga controls the lease of the land but would not confirm future plans for it, other than the fact Timaru Oil Services has abandoned their plans.

"Timaru Oil Services has requested to be released from their lease of 216 Totara Street and, as the land owner, Port of Tauranga has agreed to that request." a spokesperson told Te Ao Māori News.

Whareroa Marae houses some 80 whanau in private homes and there is also a kohanga reo on the site. The marae has called for elimination of heavy industry in the area for sometime.

Tauranga City Council said while it was against the tank farm, it wouldn't be drawn on future use of the whenua.

"The site is zoned ‘Industry’ in the City Plan and an industrial development could occur on the site site as a permitted activity within certain limits. " a spokesperson said.